Museveni highlights SDGs as G77+China summit starts

President Yoweri Museveni

Summary:

  • Museveni expressed concern at the G77+China Heads of State Summit about the likelihood of many developing countries failing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 due to challenges like climate disasters and unfair treatment in the global financial industry.

President Yoweri Museveni has expressed concern that the majority of developing countries will not meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with only seven years left on the agenda.

President Museveni told the opening of the G77+China Heads of State Summit on Sunday, that while many countries are trying to meet the Agenda 2030, many are faced with challenges that are drawing them back, including climate disasters, unfair treatment in the glob financial industry and other actions of developed countries.

In 2015, UN member countries adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals, with the main target for achieving peace and prosperity for the people and the planet.

However, targets like eliminating poverty, hunger, inequalities and attaining electricity, quality education and good health for all, among others, remain elusive for most people.

“I wonder why global economic actors fail to understand that the prosperity of the entire world population benefits everyone, instead opting for policies that keep the majority in poverty. Who suffers when the world is prosperous? Is there a potential victim of global affluence?” Museveni asked.

“If our organisation aims to empower the entire world population economically, why promote economic protectionism? Therefore, I urge the G77 and China to work towards universal economic growth because economic progress in one country can benefit the others.”

Speaking after assuming the group’s chairmanship from Cuba, Museveni said developing countries must work collectively and leave no one behind.

He argued that while there is need to ensure human rights for all, human rights issues must be handled objectively and not coercively, adding that the goals cannot be achieved when we countries are under military occupation by others.

Uganda is facing sanctions by the US and the World Bank which recently suspended processing or new loans for the country, accusing it of a worsening human rights record.

Museveni said that International Financial Institutions must access services to countries in need without necessarily infringing on their right to sovereignty.

The G77+China Summit commenced hours after the conclusion of the Non-Aligned Movement Summit at the same venue in Kampala.

The Group of 77 is a coalition of 135 developing countries, designed to promote its members’ collective economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the United Nations.

In his remarks, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres hailed the theme of the summit, “Leaving no One Behind”, but lamented that the meeting, also known as the Third South Summit, was coming when some communities were being left behind, and others still suffering the effects of COVID-19, disasters and poor infrastructure.

He notes the need to overhaul the structures of the global institutions including the UN and Bretton Woods Institutions (World Bank and IMF), if they are to remain relevant to the current challenges of the world, urging for faster measures to relieve poor countries of their current debt burdens.

Commenting on his proposals for increased funding for developing countries, Guterres also urged the developing countries to make the developed world account for their contribution to climate change.

The UN boss also repeated his opposition to what he called the unacceptable heartbreaking invasions of weaker countries by world powers and denial of the right to freedom.

Unfortunately, according to him, the UN security council is now too polarised to deal with the situation, hence the need to overhaul it as well as the related international financial institutions.

The Chinese government called for the overhaul of even the World Trade Organisation to make it able to reverse the growing trend of trade wars and trade discrimination among the countries of the world.

Liu Guozhong, the Vice Premier of the State Council of China noted that there is a trend towards the reversal of globalisation which will only serve to surprise the developing world further.

Liu, who represented President Xi Jinping, said the onus in on the organisations of the developing world like NAM and G77+China to ensure this does not happen, but added that there is need for deeper cooperation amongst the members.

He spoke through an interpreter.

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